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9 Year Old Swing Evaluation

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  • 9 Year Old Swing Evaluation

    I just happened upon this site last week. Up to that point my knowledge base had kind of plateued, but suddenly I am learning a lot again! I was wondering if anyone with an eye for the sort of thing could critique my 9 year old son's swing. He has really developed very fast hands this year with a lot of practice. So much so, that he is increasingly struggling against slower pitchers. Mainly he is having trouble timing the pitch and as a result is getting way out front. His previous bat went dead on one midway through the season, so I was shopping around for bats and found justbats.com where I could get 2 of the Vexxum bats for the price of 1. So I bought a -10 and a -8.5 of the 29". He has used the Vexxum 29/19 for a year and a half. I have read several people say to have a kid that swings too early use a slightly heavier bat, so we tried it. The first 3 swings were against an average speed pitcher, so he used the 19 oz bat. The last 2 swings were against a much slower pitcher, so he used the 20.5 oz bat. He still is getting way out front-almost 2 feet. His first at bat was a ground out, his second was a strike out. He doesn't strike out that often and hits the ball usually very hard. Last week the first day with the new bats he used the 19 oz bat against a pretty fast pitcher and hit the ball at least 250 feet. But overall lately with his timing slightly off he has been painting the left field line and just not getting as much smack in the ball. Can anybody offer some advice for his timing and any other observations?

    http://s229.photobucket.com/albums/e...ent=swing1.flv

    http://s229.photobucket.com/albums/e...ent=swing2.flv

    http://s229.photobucket.com/albums/e...ent=swing3.flv

    http://s229.photobucket.com/albums/e...ent=swing4.flv

    http://s229.photobucket.com/albums/e...ent=swing5.flv

  • #2
    His swing looks decent. No doubt you can improve it.

    He is not getting any pre-load movement, no winding up the rubber band. He doen't seem to have real good control of his strike zone yet so that makes a big difference in each swing we saw. Looks very athletic and I bet is pretty good in the field.

    Cally

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    • #3
      Originally posted by callyjr View Post
      His swing looks decent. No doubt you can improve it.

      He is not getting any pre-load movement, no winding up the rubber band. He doen't seem to have real good control of his strike zone yet so that makes a big difference in each swing we saw. Looks very athletic and I bet is pretty good in the field.

      Cally
      By pre-load are you talking shifting more weight to his back foot? What some call a "trigger"?

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      • #4
        250 feet by a 9 yo old? WOW that's crazy, are you talking about the 250 feet in the air?

        Anyway back to the timing issue. My son used to have the similar problem with slower pitcher also. He killed those pitches in the high 50's as to above 60mph but struggled against the pitches in the 30 to 40's. My understanding is they are reacting to the pitchers instead of the pitches. Reacting with pitcher's hand instead of the ball. The verbal remainder for him before stepping to the plate is

        read early, watch/anticipate for the late moment and hit it hard. read early means you watch and study what the pitcher is doing, read the speed and location of the ball as early as possible and, this is important, anticipate the late moment to the plate based on the early read, don't pull the trigger before you got that late moment. Kids worry about missing the ball therefore they tend to pull the trigger early. In order to overcome this you have to make them feel confident of their ability to hit the ball any time they want. In batting cage, we have this 36 feet batting tunnel I turn up the speed to over 65mph and ask my kid to read, anticipate then hit. The key is to be in real relaxed state while read and watch and go hard instantly. The result is phenomenal. He starts to get real patient and let the ball come deep in the zone then hammer it real hard.
        Last edited by mightylakers; 06-02-2008, 12:11 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sooner Rob View Post
          By pre-load are you talking shifting more weight to his back foot? What some call a "trigger"?

          no, I am talking about the upper body turning down and in as the lower body is opening. Think of it like this. Take a rubber band in both hands, now twist it, the top hand twisting clock wise and the bottom counter clock wise. Now think of your boby in the same manner, once the rubber band is wound up what happens when you let go of the bottom? Now apply that to your body and swing. thats what I mean by loading.


          Once you get this part added you can also work on getting the hips open at contact as well, currently he swings mostly arms.

          Cally
          Last edited by callyjr; 06-02-2008, 12:17 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mightylakers View Post
            250 feet by a 9 yo old? WOW that's crazy, are you talking about the 250 feet in the air?
            no chance it was in the air.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mightylakers View Post
              250 feet by a 9 yo old? WOW that's crazy, are you talking about the 250 feet in the air?

              Anyway back to the timing issue. My son used to have the similar problem with slower pitcher also. He killed those pitches in the high 50's as to above 60mph but struggled against the pitches in the 30 to 40's. My understanding is they are reacting to the pitchers instead of the pitches. Reacting with pitcher's hand instead of the ball. The verbal remainder for him before stepping to the plate is

              read early, watch/anticipate for the late moment and hit it hard. read early means you watch and study what the pitcher is doing, read the speed and location of the ball as early as possible and, this is important, anticipate the late moment to the plate based on the early read, don't pull the trigger before you got that late moment. Kids worry about missing the ball therefore they tend to pull the trigger early. In order to overcome this you have to make them feel confident of their ability to hit the ball any time they want. In batting cage, we have this 36 feet batting channel I turn up the speed to over 65mph and ask my kid to read, anticipate then hit. The key is to be in real relaxed state while read and watch and go hard instantly. The result is phenomenal. He starts to get real patient and let the ball come deep in the zone then hammer it real hard.
              Yes, it was 250 in the air. They "play up" on the field they play on. The center field fence is 300 feet. His shot well well over the center fielder's head bounced twice and hit the fence. That was by far the farthest I have seen him hit. He routinely hits over the fence they practice on which is 200 in center. The only problem with that hit was he kind of surprised himself so much so that he was watching it instead of moving his wheels and couldn't make the turn at second base, so the coach had to hold him up for a double instead of more bases.

              Here is another question: can too much time in the cage be detrimental at that age for them to not see enough slower balls? We hit about 300 balls a week off the Iron Mike machine, but we can't get it slower than an equivalent of about 58 MPH. The pitches in those videos are between 46 and 48. He always wants to hit off the machine, but I make him do tee work one day, then soft toss another, then long toss, then machine. In all he is doing about half of his cuts each week in the cage on the machine and the rest are spread out doing tosses and tee work.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sooner Rob View Post
                Yes, it was 250 in the air. They "play up" on the field they play on. The center field fence is 300 feet. His shot well well over the center fielder's head bounced twice and hit the fence. That was by far the farthest I have seen him hit. He routinely hits over the fence they practice on which is 200 in center. The only problem with that hit was he kind of surprised himself so much so that he was watching it instead of moving his wheels and couldn't make the turn at second base, so the coach had to hold him up for a double instead of more bases.

                Here is another question: can too much time in the cage be detrimental at that age for them to not see enough slower balls? We hit about 300 balls a week off the Iron Mike machine, but we can't get it slower than an equivalent of about 58 MPH. The pitches in those videos are between 46 and 48. He always wants to hit off the machine, but I make him do tee work one day, then soft toss another, then long toss, then machine. In all he is doing about half of his cuts each week in the cage on the machine and the rest are spread out doing tosses and tee work.
                From your video it looks like he's a big kid. But still a big WOW as I never seen a 9 yo old hit that far. My son is 10, the inside the park HR he hit might roll to 250 ft.

                Anyway as for the cage time, I sort of have similar question also. However it is still a good way to get the mechanics right. On the other hand I gave him more and more pitched BP as of late. Be it short or long toss, or the real live pitching. It also helps to make the BP as close as a real game, keep the count is important so that he is doing the right thing under the circumstance.

                Comment


                • #9
                  cage time is fine, but a live arm is more important, if you can throw to him in the cage he will learn to read your arm and make the adjustments. Earlier in the season I was throwing 250 to 300 balls a day to my boy. Now we have not used the cage in a month. He is hitting better now then he was when I was wasting my arm.

                  I still don't believe that kid hit a ball 250 in the air. Most LL 12 yr olds struggle to hit 200, I have been coaching this age group the last 2 years and saw a big 10yr hit one maybe 230.

                  Your boy looks athlithc, but he is not gonna power one 200 feet with his arms and he is swinging with a lot of arms.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have seen two 9 year olds hit the ball over our LL fence that is 200 ft. They probably went 210 - 220 feet in the air. By the looks of that swing 250 ft. seems to be unrealistic..............but you never know.
                    "Tip it and rip it" - In Memory of Dmac
                    "Hit the inside seam" - In Memory of Swingbuster

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Stealth View Post
                      I have seen two 9 year olds hit the ball over our LL fence that is 200 ft. They probably went 210 - 220 feet in the air. By the looks of that swing 250 ft. seems to be unrealistic..............but you never know.
                      This kid is not hitting 200 let alone 250. sorry. I don't care how thin the air is. Not even with a perfect swing is this kid gonna hit 250 right now. He is not big enough or strong enough. I have a 9yr old right now on our team that is the strongest 9yr old I have ever seen, he still has yet to reach 200 and his swing is pretty good. He hit close to 200, about 195 but still tey to get 200.

                      Maybe dad could walk it off for us.

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                      • #12
                        Looks like a good swing-very quick hands. Tell him to trust his quickness-try to let the ball get so deep that he will be late. My 12 yo has the same problem occasionally, and he has yet to find someone who can throw it by him, even a couple of big early-puberty kids hitting 72-73. When he trusts his quickness, he times everybody pretty well-when he starts to doubt, he winds up firing too early.

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                        • #13
                          I have never seen a nine or ten year old hit a ball 250 feet in the air. I have caught a five foot bass though. Your son has a nice swing for his age.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TG Coach View Post
                            I have never seen a nine or ten year old hit a ball 250 feet in the air. I have caught a five foot bass though. Your son has a nice swing for his age.
                            Ha! Well I guess it is a fish story until proven otherwise. I know this much, the 4th/5th grade field they practice on are 180 on the LF/RF lines and 200 straight Center. These were the game field until this year when we got brand new fields that were build to USSSA spec for tournaments. The (now) practice fields are marked and I even crudely measured them once by counting up the lengths between the side fence posts that are spaced exactly 8' apart. That was my only reference point relating to the other field. He has hit it over the CF and LF fence in practice 8 - 10 times. In the game he hit it further than that, so it was definitely more than 200 (seemed like a lot more) and less than 300 because that was the mark on the bigger field. I'll work with him on the suggestions tomorrow night and post some more video up as follow up. Thanks to all.

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                            • #15
                              Wow. 250 feet. How big is your son? My son swings roughly the same size bat.
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